Bridge to Terabithia review – GREAT movie

22 Feb

Watch the Trailer here for Bridge to Terabithia

I recently went to see Bridge to Terabithia (by myself, since no one ever wants to go see children’s movies with me) and I must say i was very impressed! such a great movie! I never read the book as a child but I have read other books by Katherine Peterson.

First a small warning: do NOT be deceived by the trailers / commercials. This is NOT a fantasy film like Chronicles of Narnia or Harry Potter. It is a serious movie set in the real world, with only brief flashes of fantasy that are never real, but merely the childrens imaginations. Don’t go in there expecting a Chronicles of Narnia experience. This movie is more similar to Pan’s Labyrinth, which was rated R and was brutally violent. (this reminds me of the VERY DISHONEST trailer for “The Shining” that made it look like a romantic comedy)

Anyway, the film is about a 5th grader Jesse Adams who lives in rural america (the book sets the area as suburbs of Washington DC) and lives with his very poor family that can’t even afford shoes for him. A new girl, Leslie Burke, moves in next door and because they are both disliked at school they form a strong friendship.

Everyday after school they go into the woods and create a fantasy world called Terebtihia, and declare themselves rules of the kingdom. The movie is, I will warn you, very sad. It’s probably the only time I have cried in the theater in a very long time. I can’t really remember the last movie that did that. Many people in my theater audience were teary-eyed as well.

The movie never leaves the child’s viewpoint, we only see scenes that he would witness. The film never leaves his vantage point and I think that’s very important to immersion. I especially enjoyed the feeling the movie gave to you, of what it is to be in 5th grade. It brought back a lot of memories and for a while it really did feel like I was that young again.

I was moved and touched by this movie, and I am glad I went to see it. Despite it’s serious subject matter I still think its a good movie to take kids to, as you can not shelter them from death forever. It’s better you deal with those issues before it strikes them in the hard way, by occurring to someone close to them or to a beloved pet. Child or adult, death is a very very confusing and scary thing to talk about.

Comparison to Pan’s Labyrinth

In many ways I feel Bridge to Terabithia is a superior film to Pan’s Labyrinth. The reason being is that both films, at their core, try and show how children use their imaginations to deal with difficulties in their daily life. And both deal heavily with death. I feel Pan’s Labyrinth was trying too hard by setting their story in the post Spanish Civil war era. One doesn’t need to place the main character child in such a insanely bad time of history. Bridge to Terebithia sets the story in anytown, USA and has no bombings, or war, etc. The subtlety is what wins Bridge to Terebtihia over for me. Subtlety is often elegant, and when things are too loud or trying too hard it comes off as tacky or cheesy.

In conclusion I implore everyone to go out and check this movie out


4 Responses to “Bridge to Terabithia review – GREAT movie”

  1. docwho88 February 22, 2007 at 9:50 pm #

    i’m with ya on the whole “noone else wanting to go and see kids’ movies” thing. I went to see happy feet by myself as I was bored one afternoon and it was still matinee-time, and then i went again since i was invited by friends of mine. heh.
    That “shining” trailer is great — it has to be a spoof though, right? something about it seems a bit too ‘modern’, not to mention intentionally ommissive, to have been an original ad spot or something.

    • bboyneko February 22, 2007 at 11:32 pm #

      yes the shining trailer was a spoof 🙂

      • docwho88 February 23, 2007 at 1:31 am #

        then props should go to whoever made it, for keeping me reasonably convinced (and/or at least somewhat in doubt) for a few minutes =)
        it would really be funny, though, to see that kinda thing actually happen. of course people would be mad, but for people who pay attention to things, it would be really funny.

  2. Anonymous February 24, 2007 at 2:19 am #

    Dude, that Shining trailer was a spoof. It was a submission to a competition to see who could create the most convincing trailer about a movie outside the genre that the movie was made for (in this case romantic comedy out of a horror movie).
    It won, by the way.

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